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A letter to Lululemon
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http://sportsdivasinc.com/...f-fleet-feet-sports/

Anne Barnes
ABBikefit, Ltd
FIST/SICI/FIST DOWN DEEP
X/Y Coordinator
abbikefit@gmail.com
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Re: A letter to Lululemon [ABarnes] [ In reply to ]
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That's 100% win. Thanks for posting that :)

I have never bought any Lululemon, and now I never will.
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Re: A letter to Lululemon [ABarnes] [ In reply to ]
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That was awesome, thanks for sharing. If you haven't seen it, Stephen Colbert had a fantastic segment on him as well: http://www.colbertnation.com/...e-week---chip-wilson

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The beatings will continue until morale improves

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Re: A letter to Lululemon [ABarnes] [ In reply to ]
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I have never worn lulu product. I have however worked in the belly of the beast - not directly for lulu but in a "3rd party consulting" capacity (they tried to hire me, directly against the no-solicitation clause they had agreed to, right after the engagement... harumph!) at the distribution centre and at their head design offices. All of their staff, knowing my sporty background, asked why I didn't own their product. At that time I just said "your stuff is designed for skinny yoga chickas, which is not me.... it's not real world enough... oh and your price point sucks." (yeah they still tried to hire me after saying that to their COO - ha!)

As a Vancouverite, it is sad to see what was a good local company with a good albeit not-for-me brand goes in the wrong direction. There are a lot of really good people that work for this company. However, anytime a company goes public (having worked for quite a few of them), they inevitably lose sight of their true north, their reason d'etre, their secret sauce. Here's a prime example.

AP

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"How bad could it be?" - SimpleS
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Re: A letter to Lululemon [mdraegerpnw] [ In reply to ]
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Hirarious! thanks for sharing that - my morning coffee just got snorted all over my iPad!

Lululemon has a store in Princeton and I've been enticed inside by all the pretty colors in the window. The clothing is not made for real women who actually work out. And the quality of the clothing does not match the price tag!

Will stick with my Brooks, saucony and north face gear! Which I can always find on sale at the end of the season and it works for my pitiful attempts at yoga too!
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Re: A letter to Lululemon [ABarnes] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for sharing. I had NO IDEA. Oh man.
Bummer. I have a few things from them and liked those items. My sister got me winter run tights from them for Christmas last year and I liked them. Then run shorts for my birthday this past summer.
I'm not sure I want to support a company like this - now that I'm aware. Thanks for sharing and giving me a clue. Adios Lulu!
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Re: A letter to Lululemon [ABarnes] [ In reply to ]
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That CEO looks creepy also!!
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Re: A letter to Lululemon [ABarnes] [ In reply to ]
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I KNEW that there was a reason that I've always avoided their products.
Vindicated.
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Re: A letter to Lululemon [ABarnes] [ In reply to ]
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I let both my daughters know, one of them said they actually played the Colbert piece in her class. Awesome!
But of course she didn't share w/ me, so thank you for letting me know. I actually have never bought Lululemon, not my style and if it was, it's too pricey, but I do like to know which companies I should let others know to avoid.
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Re: A letter to Lululemon [ABarnes] [ In reply to ]
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Is it wrong that I don't find this appalling?

For sure it was a stupid thing to say from a PR standpoint. But the fact that not all clothes fit all bodies is nothing new to any of us. There are lots of clothes that I love the look of but were just not meant for my body (sweater dress, anyone?).

I'm of average build and own a pair of lululemon pants. I LOVE them. They were a gift from my husband because I was too cheap to buy them but really wanted them. They are not the tight yoga-style pants. Those look horrible on me. I have big thighs - tight pants = not pretty. Also - their short-shorts were not made for my body. I see them, lament that they will look awful on me and move on.

I feel like we are all just too sensitive these days.
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Re: A letter to Lululemon [edbikebabe] [ In reply to ]
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I don't know if I would say I find it appalling, but the guy sounds like a classless jerk. I've always thought Lululemon stuff was way overpriced, average quality, and ill-fitting. I'm 5'5" and 115 pounds so I wouldn't consider myself to be in the category that he states isn't meant for Lululemon clothing but nothing I've tried on has ever fit that great. I've tried there stuff on but could never justify paying the prices because I didn't think it was all that nice either. I feel like I can find much cuter, higher quality, better fitting, and better priced clothing at Athleta. I will say that after hearing what the Lululemon CEO said I have no desire to go into their store again, but I don't fault other women who love their stuff and continue to shop there. The beauty of the free market.
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Re: A letter to Lululemon [edbikebabe] [ In reply to ]
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edbikebabe wrote:
Is it wrong that I don't find this appalling?

For sure it was a stupid thing to say from a PR standpoint. But the fact that not all clothes fit all bodies is nothing new to any of us. There are lots of clothes that I love the look of but were just not meant for my body (sweater dress, anyone?).

I'm of average build and own a pair of lululemon pants. I LOVE them. They were a gift from my husband because I was too cheap to buy them but really wanted them. They are not the tight yoga-style pants. Those look horrible on me. I have big thighs - tight pants = not pretty. Also - their short-shorts were not made for my body. I see them, lament that they will look awful on me and move on.

I feel like we are all just too sensitive these days.
This. It was a stupid thing to say, especially from him but it is the truth for many women, and men. I wear the brand as well as others. If it does not fit to my liking, I do not buy. Aside from the sheer fiasco, some do not want to size up or go elsewhere. Just because something looks good on one person does not mean it will look good on every one. A few weeks back I was in a Lululemon store and a female who was clearly pushing a true 18 (not a vain 12) spent a lot of money on an outfit. She was wearing the brand and mentioned she was shopping for herself. It was clear the pieces she had on did not fit but her money spoke.


_____________________________________
DISH is how we do it.
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Re: A letter to Lululemon [edbikebabe] [ In reply to ]
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From the article:
This guy suggested that women whose thighs dare to touch should not wear his clothing . Yes, you read that correctly, this ‘leader’ in the active wear business believes that if his branded pants pill in the thigh area, it is not a production issue, it is a function of the build of the wearer’s body. In Mr. Lululemon’s mind, pilling shows that your thighs touch each other and therefore you should not wear his brand since “it is not meant for everyone”.

I think the problem is that this is a company that makes clothes (in theory) for "athletes" and yet doesn't expect that athletes thighs might touch. Sure, not all clothes look good on all bodies--agreed. Your choice to not wear a sweater dress? +1. Skinny jeans? Nope. Small toe-box stilletos? I'm out. But clothing marketed as "athletic wear"? Yeah, I think I should probably be able to wear that and not have it fail because of my athletic thighs. For a company CEO to state that his clothes aren't defective and imply that instead it is the buyer/athlete who is defective because her thighs touch is messed up.
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Re: A letter to Lululemon [Push] [ In reply to ]
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My thighs touch/rub. Guess where every single pair of my jeans wears out first - in the inner thighs. things that rub will pill. If it happens the first time you wear them that might be a problem, but clothing wears out.
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Re: A letter to Lululemon [edbikebabe] [ In reply to ]
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So do mine. Majorly. I have a pair of Sugoi winter running tights that I wear ALOT and have had for almost 10 years now. No pilling.

My jeans wear out like yours do as well. That said, I have found some materials and manufacturers to be better than others.

I hate shopping and all clothes are a crap-shoot IMHO - so I try to just stick to brands with which I have had good success (Sugoi, deSoto - for some products not all, Louis Garneau, New Balance, Adidas) and avoid those I have not (Nike comes to mind in particular). I love the REI and MEC house brand stuff too. :-)

AP

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"How bad could it be?" - SimpleS
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Re: A letter to Lululemon [ABarnes] [ In reply to ]
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good fit
good material
suitably functional
durable

These are the only things that matter in a sports garment (or any garment as far as I'm concerned). Unfortunately the only way to discover what works best is a ton of trial and error -- getting it wrong until you get it right. Most people can't or don't want to invest this kind of time and rely on a brand name to get it right for them.

I'm not offended that the company claims it can't work for all body types -- this is reality for any manufacturer that's working off a limited set of scaled patterns to produce their lines. But his comment about thigh rub does show that this guy is no athlete himself, and doesn't understand his company's self-proclaimed target audience.

A more interesting question is how to solve the problem of pilling due to friction -- reinforce the fabric? Use heavier guage fabric? I'm sure the NFL has solved this problem -- it's be interesting to get a good look at what the boys over there are wearing.
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Re: A letter to Lululemon [edbikebabe] [ In reply to ]
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edbikebabe wrote:
My thighs touch/rub. Guess where every single pair of my jeans wears out first - in the inner thighs. things that rub will pill. If it happens the first time you wear them that might be a problem, but clothing wears out.

I assumed since he was responding to a large number of complaints about the quality of the pants, that it wasn't a normal wear problem.

Like AP and Kiki, I have brands that work well and don't pill, even years into wearing them 3-4x/week running through 5 cold winter months. It has taken some trial and error, but when I find a brand that is consistently good, I'm extremely loyal and I will gladly pay more for quality.

In addition to the items Kiki listed in things she looks for when purchasing, I would add that I definitely consider a company's ethos. I don't want to support a company like Lululemon because they aren't promoting all women or all athletes. With so many companies to choose from who are both making quality goods and working hard to promote women in sports, consider working conditions of employees, their impact on the environment, and even some who give back in other ways (Patagonia), I try to consider the whole picture and purchase accordingly.
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Re: A letter to Lululemon [edbikebabe] [ In reply to ]
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I don't find it appalling either. Classless? Yep, you betcha - but the reality is that he's voicing what is true of pretty much any clothing manufacturer.There are several clothing lines that I just can't wear, or styles that I know to stay away from, and I do.

As for Lululemon - I have several of their pieces, and I will most likely buy more. Why? Because the pieces that I already have lasted for years (in the case of some sports bras, I've finally retired 3 of them after more than a decade of use), it's comfortable, and I like how it looks and feels. For ME, the clothing is worth the price if I get over 10 years of use from it - regardless of whether the guy is a jerk.

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Re: A letter to Lululemon [blueyedbikergrl] [ In reply to ]
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blueyedbikergrl wrote:
I don't find it appalling either. Classless? Yep, you betcha - but the reality is that he's voicing what is true of pretty much any clothing manufacturer.There are several clothing lines that I just can't wear, or styles that I know to stay away from, and I do.

As for Lululemon - I have several of their pieces, and I will most likely buy more. Why? Because the pieces that I already have lasted for years (in the case of some sports bras, I've finally retired 3 of them after more than a decade of use), it's comfortable, and I like how it looks and feels. For ME, the clothing is worth the price if I get over 10 years of use from it - regardless of whether the guy is a jerk.

I am in this camp. In the same way Lane Bryant clothes are not for everyone lululemon is not. That does not bother me. What he said was totally tasteless but I really love my running gear from them and will continue to buy. They fit me well and have POCKETS!!!!! that is my pet peeve with other technical gear - no pockets. Do the other manufacturers think I run with a guy who will hold my stuff???
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Re: A letter to Lululemon [meuf] [ In reply to ]
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meuf wrote:
Do the other manufacturers think I run with a guy who will hold my stuff???

Don't feel bad, they don't put pockets in most of our stuff either.
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Re: A letter to Lululemon [edbikebabe] [ In reply to ]
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Is it wrong that I don't find this appalling?

I didn't find it appalling either. Bad from a PR standpoint certainly. And it is another "you need to look a certain" way message which is problematic.
But
It's like J Crew stuff... made for a certain body type.
It's actually sort of an honest comment. No thigh gap = rubbing of thighs and fabric covering them = friction --> fabric issues.

Proud member of Fishtwitch and the ST Grammar Police
disclaimer: PhD not MD
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Re: A letter to Lululemon [IKnowEverything] [ In reply to ]
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IKnowEverything wrote:
meuf wrote:
Do the other manufacturers think I run with a guy who will hold my stuff???


Don't feel bad, they don't put pockets in most of our stuff either.

it took the ski industry like 20 years or more to figure out that women actually need pockets - I used to buy men's stuff. so now that I have running gear that fits, is comfortable, has attention to technical detail and POCKETS not letting go
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Re: A letter to Lululemon [ABarnes] [ In reply to ]
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It has been so interesting to see different people's responses to this.

I'm glad to hear people have had some good experiences with the brand. From what I've read now online, it sounds like they used to make some items that were really good, but that they've had an increasing number of complaints about decreased quality of their goods over the last couple of years. They even had to recall 17% of all of their yoga bottoms because of sheerness and fabric quality earlier this year. Since then, they have received additional complaints about two other types of yoga pants for scratchiness and pilling (occurring in a "few wears"). I can't think of a single other brand, let alone an expensive one, that has had such repeated quality issues in their gear, and certainly not two major instances in less than 12 months.

I understand that they don't want overweight people wearing their stuff. They don't even make sizes over a 12. Whatever. That's not what we're talking about here. What we are talking about is clothing that is inferior in quality and the CEO getting on national television after having major product problems and blaming it on women's thighs touching. I can't imagine any clothing company really thinking that the wearer is going to need to have "thigh gap" for the pants to not be defective. And an athletic company?

I don't know what makes some people decide to not want to contribute to a company's bottom line. I would like to think that most consumers have certain values that they think are important and wouldn't want to support companies that don't align with those values. When I vote with my dollars it often isn't about me. It's about the bigger picture. Though I can stand in such a way to make my thighs touch, they usually don't. I have never had a pair of pants wear out in the thighs. My choice about supporting a company isn't just about whether or not the product works for me, it's also about the message the product carries. I would rather not support a company that promotes unrealistic expectations of women's bodies and furthers the culture of thinness above fitness. As an athlete, that's an incredibly important distinction to me. Luckily, I have dozens of good options that cost less, are higher quality and don't line the pockets of a man who reinforces body image issues.
Last edited by: Push: Nov 24, 13 10:49
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Re: A letter to Lululemon [tigerchik] [ In reply to ]
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I too was never annoyed or offended by what he said. I've never been a fan of Lululemon anyway, I do own a few things but I don't go crazy.

I did stop by a srore today looking for running tights. A lot of people recommended the Wunder Under style. The sales person tried to steer me away for them for running because they pill (and aren't wind resistan unless made from a certain fabric they didn't have I stock in my size). I looked at him and said "but my thighs don't rub" (not really true). He immediately started explaining why that really didn't matter. I had to laugh because I was just joking but either he was really good thinking on his feet or he had even coached at what to say.

In the end I didn't buy any. I have a $15 compression tights from old navy and $15 fleece tights from Walmart that are awesome for keeping me warm and blocking the wind. I might ask for some Lululemon tights for Christmas but I wnt spent over $100 for them myself.
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Re: A letter to Lululemon [Push] [ In reply to ]
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You're absolutely right about paying attention to the message the company sends -- marketing is such a key part of the picture in today's fashion world. Seventy five years ago a lot more of us would have sewn, and for that reason would have had a basic understanding of fabric and fabrication (not sports garments obv but you know what I mean). Now, since most of us don't, we rely more heavily on brand image to help make buying decisions.

There's a company in the UK (Sweaty Betty) that sells its stuff (yoga, running, etc) with the message 'yeah we all hate exercise but why not look hot while you're doing it!' They're a big brand here, so I guess this terrible message is working for them.

Also, generally, on the pockets thing, if a garment has a pocket, you can be sure that's costed into the original price (a bit of extra fabric and five minutes more sewing time, even more if there's a zip). When retailers start knocking prices down on sale, the costing formula can get skewed, and this is when you can get a real bargain (i.e. go for good fit first, then look for truly superior features like higher lycra content/reflective strips/pockets whatever)
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